Treating your resume as a part of your real estate portfolio
Resumes these days are more than just a career summary, they are one part of a complex jigsaw.
A few decades ago they were your primary job seeking apparatus and for those of us of age to remember that far back, we placed our precious resumes in a stamped envelope and dropped them off in the post box to perspective employers.
How times have changed!
Often the best way to get a key message across is by finding an analogy, and we chose the title of this article appropriately; real estate.
When we need to sell our house, we have a bewildering array of choices which could be defined as local, regional, national, international, and then online or offline.
Most of us no longer live in insular societies where our entire neighbourhoods consist of local people that have lived for generations in the same town or village. This is especially so in the burgeoning neighbourhoods of large cities.
A few decades ago a house sale was most likely conducted by a local agent who knew the local population and was aware of the households that were looking to either buy or sell. This agent would supplement their known network by attracting customers through shop window adverts. The agent would have been known, and likely trusted by the local community. Unethical practices would tarnish his or her reputation and have negative consequences for their business.
So why is this relevant to a blog post on a technical executive search company's website?
Selling yourself to a prospective employer is not any different to selling your house to a prospective buyer.
In this day and age relying on an advert on the local shop window is unlikely to be your only method, but instead one of many simultaneous options you exercise.
The first task is who to trust. For example, do you want to leave a key with the local agent?
Ironically this is the same choice that you make with your resume. You would be highly unlikely to post your key to someone you had never met, especially so if you had not signed a contract specifying exactly what they can and cannot do with it.
The same principle should always apply to your resume. Ubiquitous resume drops are a minefield. Very rarely is there a direct link between dropping off your resume and receiving a contact from an employer.
When were you ever called by an employer with a job proposition based specifically on a jobs board resume drop?
What usually happens at some stage after a resume drop is that you get bombarded with irrelevant, and sometimes inappropriate spam, originating not from prospective employers, but from a myriad of agents including shifty sale representatives from non-relevant companies.
Were you surprised that this happened? You shouldn't be. Receiving coveted resumes is not always for the purpose of linking candidates to employers. Sadly, more often that not, it is a method to harvest resumes with the intention to sell them onto whoever will pay for access.
You would be rightfully annoyed if the same happened with our trusted real estate agent. Just imagine dropping off a key, and finding that copies had been cut and sold onto whichever other real estate agents were prepared to buy copies!
When you decide to sell your house, you would normally speak to a handful of local agents. Each would visit your property and give you an assessment.
You would probably create a short-list based on select key criteria including their reputation; the appearance of their shop; the quality of their website; the knowledge of the agent and the extent of their network.
Would you choose an agent with no in-depth knowledge, a scruffy shop, no website, and no evidence of an industry network? Of course, you wouldn't. The same selection criteria should apply to who your short-list to receive your resume.
So now the real estate agent has your interest – what do you expect next? A call, E-mail or opportunity to set an appointment discuss your property? Of course, you would.
Back to job searching; Ask yourself this question - When was the last time you got a call or E-mail offering career advice after dropping off your resume? Did you ask the company who accepted your resume what would happen next, and what they would do for you in return?
Ideally, in the property world once more, the real estate agent will arrange a visit to your property. A visit is an ideal opportunity for a two-way discussion regarding your circumstances, and the reason for your sale. From your perspective, it is a valuable opportunity to establish a marketing strategy, and define who the target buyers will likely be.
The same should happen after your resume drop - except you won't get a personal visit! Is there anyone in the company that accepted your resume available to talk to, and if so do they speak the same technical language as yourself? Chatting about the weather with vague interjections about a job move is hardly career enhancing.
While you may be extremely annoyed when estate agent representatives suggest that you tidy up your property, you need to bear in mind that they are providing this advice to enhance your chances of a sale, not to criticise your taste or choice of furniture.
Our properties are all about ourselves. We might proudly display our lead crystal or tin soldier collections, or we may make our living rooms welcoming for our pets. There is nothing wrong with either or these preferences, nor is there anything wrong with having a higgledy-piggledy house. Remember it's not about you, or what you think, but what perspective employers might think - first impressions count for a lot.
Your estate agent will likely recommend you tidy away clutter, cover up any obvious stains to walls, scratches to doors, and remove evidence of pets. They may also suggest that you tend to weeds in you garden borders. All these things help extend the appeal of your property to the widest possible audience.
There should also be a discussion regarding whether or not you proposed sale is urgent, as this would be another factor in defining the agreed selling price. Does this resemble a discussion about your salary or day rate expectations?
Once you've acted on their recommendation, they will likely make another appointment to acquire photographs of your tidy and appealing property.
The same very much applies to your resume. We are all proud of our careers, and our personal style of resume. They are a coveted statement of our achievement. Occasionally our artistic license is also on display, and our resumes resemble works of art.
Most professional recruitment agents will recommend a de-clutter process to your resume so that the wood can be seen for the trees.
Our next analogy would be with a careful choice of words for your resume. No matter how determined you might otherwise feel, resumes should not be mini-encyclopedias running into ten or more pages. Set yourself a limit of three pages.
Will your real estate agent list that the "Master bedroom contains a bed, has two windows and is used for sleeping"? Of course, they wouldn't! Most prospective buyers would be surprised if that weren't the case!
Should a Drilling Supervisor confine their description to "Attending the daily morning calls to town, and supervising the drilling activities on a deep-water well in South-East Asia"? Of course, they shouldn't!
Your three pages of resume are valuable real estate. The smart estate agent will be looking to include key selling points to make your property more attractive.
"Master bedroom with ample room for a king-sized bed has a door leading to balcony and sea views from both windows" is far more attractive, and is no longer generic.
As a Drilling Supervisor, the same applies. You may wish to highlight that you were involved with challenging ERD wells in fractured carbonates, drilled with managed pressure drilling techniques in 3,000 m water depths from a 6th generation drillship offshore Vietnam. How much better would this sound than a generic work scope?
To summarise our point here – there is an overwhelming selection of ‘resume drop' options these days. Treat your resume the same way as you would the key to the front door of your house, and you should be fine.
At NatResPro we have the following value proposition for you;
We will treat you resume in the same way as we would the key to your front door.
We are a new start company a little over a year old. However, all our Career Advisors are industry professionals with 30-years specialist experience in their respective fields. We define these team members as Skill Pool Advisors, to be clear that they are not recruiters in disguise. They are Technical Specialists, and masters in their respective fields of expertise. Each of our Skill Pool Advisors has been involved with high-level candidate short-listing, technical interviewing and final selection for E&P operating companies.
Once you drop your resume with us, a verification process will be initiated. We want to get to know you, and invest time in a relationship that seeks to understand our respective viewpoints. We will ask to become a 1st-degree connection, so we can also offer free advice on your social media profiles. We will request that you follow our primary social media company page, so we can keep you updated. We work discreetly with the individuals and clients that have placed their trust in us.
We create a brand new supplementary resume from you, top to bottom, and work in conjunction with you to complete this process. Also, we create, to our knowledge, the only professionally vetted online profiles available in the oil & gas industry.
Your resume is safe and secure with us. We create entirely anonymous candidate profiles that we post on our secure database. Each profile is fully searchable and has a unique URL – so that it can also be located by search engines such as Google. Hiding candidates profiles behind a password login creates a firewall which in-turn prevents Internet search engines from accessing those profiles. It is also worth remembering that the private content of our candidate profiles is separated, and entirely secured behind high-level security firewalls.
We do not share your resume with any third parties, even our partners. Period.
We have built a sophisticated network of partners and an ever-increasing social media footprint so that our services are visible to a huge audience.
We respect your anonymity choices and offer multiple options to control your profile access.
Our services are aimed at employers that appreciate a high-end service quality on a retained basis. Our value proposition to such clients is a pricing scheme that removes, on average, over 90% of traditional finder fees from the transaction. We offer 1) Direct download options taking the tradition jobs board to an all new level, and 2) A fully outsourced executive search capability. Both of these services are limited to employers. We do not grant candidate access to agents or other 3rd parties.
Our communication lines are open 24-hours. We can be contacted via phone, e-mail, our website, or social media channels on LinkedIn, Facebook, Oilpro, Twitter and Google+. We may not answer our business phones outside of reasonable office hours, but have full capability to accept voicemail. Additionally, our partner companies have kindly provided easy to find links from their websites back to NatResPro.
We look forward to serving you, and we are excited at being a fundamental part of your new job search and posting. Together we can raise standards and reduce employer expenses in one giant step.
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